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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has been implicated in Guptagate, according to a sworn affidavit by a senior airforce official published in Beeld newspaper on Thursday.
“On or about 17 April 2013, Mr [Bruce] Koloane phoned me and he informed me that he had returned from the president and that the president wanted to know 'if everything is still on track for the flight',” reads an excerpt of the affidavit by Lieutenant Colonel Christine Anderson.
“I informed him [Koloane] that we were awaiting the overflight clearance and once this was received, we would be able to finalise the movements of the passengers.”
Anderson also confirmed that Zuma was the “Number One”, referred to in a report on Guptagate by the justice department.
“Number One is the President of the Republic of South Africa. For safety reasons we never refer to the president in phone conversations,” said Anderson.
She is one of five members of the SA National Defence Force who have been charged before a military court in connection with the landing of a private aircraft at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in April.
Koloane, who has since been demoted, was the chief of state protocol at the time. The report by the justice department said he and other senior officials acted alone.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj told Beeld that the presidency has never commented on any details surrounding the Gupta debacle and that would remain the case.
A chartered commercial aircraft, Jet Airways flight JAI 9900 from India, ferrying more than 200 guests for the wedding of Vega Gupta, 23, and Indian-born Aakash Jahajgarhia, landed at the base in April.
The passengers were then transported, either by light aircraft, helicopter or in police-escorted vehicles, to attend the lavish ceremony at Sun City's Palace of the Lost City in North West.
The landing sparked widespread criticism and several investigations were launched.
A government investigation exonerated Zuma and his ministers, and found that the landing was the result of “collusion by officials”. - Sapa